Military Bios

Major General John H. Buckner:

Military Branch:United States Airforce
Retired Oct. 31, 1971.  
Maj. Gen. John H. Buckner is vice commander of the Twelfth Air Force (Tactical Air Command) At Bergstrom Air Force Base, Texas.
General Buckner was born in Cleburne, Texas, in 1919. He graduated from John Tarleton College, Stephensvii1e, Texas, in 1938 and then attended Texas A&M College at College Station, Texas, prior to entering the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, N.Y. While at West Point he took aviation cadet training and received his pilot wings in December 1942. He graduated from the academy in January 1943 with a bachelor of science degree.
After short tours at Spence Field, Ga., and Richmond Army Air Base, Va., he joined the 366th Fighter Squadron, 358th Fighter Group and departed for the European Theater of Operations in October 1943. In October 1944 he was named commander of the 365th Fighter Squadron in the same group. After brief assignments as air inspector of the 64th Fighter Wing and assistant air inspector of XII Tactical Air Command, in September 1945, he became commander of the 86th Fighter-Bomber Group in Germany.
After returning to the United States in May 1946, he was assigned to the U.S. Military Academy as assistant master of the sword (Office of Physical Education). During this tour of duty, he attended Springfield College, Mass., and completed requirements for a master of science degree in education.
He entered Air Command and Staff School at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., in July 1950. After graduation he was assigned to the Air University as assistant secretary, becoming secretary in September 1951. Two years later he was assigned to Far East Air Forces with temporary duty en route for jet qualification training at Craig Air Force Base, Ala., and Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. He was appointed chief of flying safety of Fifth Air Force upon arrival in Korea and, in February 1954, was named commander of the 18th Fighter-Bomber Group.
General Buckner returned to the United States in June 1954, and was a member of the Arbitration Committee, U.S. Air Force Fighter Gunnery Meet, Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. He attended Advanced Flying School at Perrin Air Force Base, Texas, from August to October 1954, and was then assigned as commander of the 3555th Combat Crew Training Group at Perrin. He served as director of crew training, Crew Training Air Force (later Flying Training Air Force), Randolph Air Force Base, Texas, from February 1956 to August 1957. He was then assigned as Air Force senior adviser, 122nd Tactical Fighter Wing, Indiana Air National Guard, Baer Field, Fort Wayne, Ind., where he remained until July 1960.
In July 1960 General Buckner was transferred to the 86th Fighter Interceptor Wing (later designated as the 86th Air Division) at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, as director of operations. He moved to Bitburg Air Base, Germany, in August 1962, to become vice commander of the 36th Tactical Fighter Wing. Returning to the United States in August 1964, he was appointed commandant of the Air University's Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., where he served until July 1967. He then became commander, U.S. Forces Azores, and commander of the 1605th Air Base Wing, Lajes Field, Azores.
He assumed duties as vice commander, Twelfth Air Force in October 1969.
His military decorations include the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf cluster, Air Medal with 20 oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Distinguished Unit Citation Emblem with two oak leaf clusters and French Croix de Guerre. He is a command pilot.


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